John Smith

Host, Reporter, Producer

Thanks for visiting my page.  My career has been quite the journey and it's a long road before I arrived to WAER.  As a kid, I was always intrigued by microphones, singers  and music.  My parents bought me a cheap tape recorder at 5 1/2 (if you can still relate) and I began telling stories and singing like I was Bobby Vinton.  I'm Polish, so I like Polkas too!  Anyhow, I'd play myself back and keep practicing.  I grew up with a severely handicapped brother, Shawn.  He caught Spinal Meningitis at three and a half weeks old and it left him with severe brain damage and he was permanently bedridden.  So, I had some downtime while my parents took care of him.  When I reached 11 years-old I also took up ventriloquism and entertained my bro.  It was all of the conversations I couldn't have with him.  Shawn couldn't speak, he could only make sounds and had a beautiful smile.  Eventually, I took my act to kids shows on WSTM Channel 3; The Saturday Showboat and the STM Club and continued performing on TV for most of my teenage years.  I also performed in the Dairy Products Building at the State Fair.  It was also during my early teens that I kept practicing making radio demo tapes in my room, complete with turntables and a mixer!  Finally, I won a Junior DJ contest to appear as a Co-Host on a local Morning Radio Show at 15 1/2 with Big Mike Fiss (now on Sunny 102) and I've been on-the-air ever since.  Radio became my new focus after I won the contest.  That is until less than a week later after I appeared on-the-air, WSYT-TV, Fox 68 in Syracuse called and offered me a job to voice promos for their fall kids contest.  I've been doing voice-overs ever since.  I continued to play the hits on two Top 40 stations, served as a Morning Show Host on a Rock Station, and an Afternoon Drive Personality on an Adult Contemporary Radio Station for which I also served as a Music Director.  I've had the opportunity to meet many celebrities and even introduced concert acts in front of thousands of people at the State Fair, Turning Stone Casino and Oswego's Harborfest.  What an adrenaline rush !  All that practicing really paid off !


Serving our WAER listeners as the Local Morning Edition Host and News Anchor has been an honor.  Especially, knowing Dick Clark was a member of this very station.  He was and still is a huge inspiration to me.  I enjoy covering the news of the community and also working with and training Broadcast Journalism Students from Syracuse University's Newhouse School.  It's been a very rewarding experience and has helped me to put into perspective of where I've come from and how much more I'd like to accomplish in life.  My reporting has earned me several Syracuse Press Club Awards that I'm grateful for.  Most recently, I won a First Place award for Best Radio Feature story for "Dick Clark got his start in Syracuse" on May 4, 20013.  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that former WTVH-TV 5 Anchor Ron Curtis is also someone I've always admired.  A big shout out to my Mom and Dad for their love and support always; you are both truly amazing!  I'd also like to say thank you for all of great teachers and administrators in the Cicero-North Syracuse School District that have been supportive of me over the years where I also served as a Public Address Announcer !  Positive people make a difference in life and can inspire; I hope you hear that coming out your speakers when you listen to WAER ! 

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Destiny USA
5:54 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

New Luxury Outlets at Destiny USA Could Bring More Job Opportunities

Armani one of three high-end outlets that opened Monday at Destiny
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Destiny USA continues to add to its plethora of available stores and this new wave is bringing in some high end brands. Companies such as Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo and Johnson & Murphy now have outlet locations in Destiny’s newest wing.

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Eat to Live Food Cooperative Ribbon Cutting
2:28 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

A Healthy Food Alternative for Syracuse's Southside Neighborhoods Opens

John Smith WAER

An old barn that was razed on South Salina Street on Syracuse’s Southside is now the address of the Eat to Live Food Cooperative.  The décor of the store is just as colorful as the produce on the shelves.  It's a dream come true for The Southside Community Coalition and Syracuse University's South Side Initiative Office.  Organizers feel it will make shopping for healthy foods more accessible in the neighborhood.  President Shirley Rowser says customers will also become more informed about their own food choices.

 

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New Course Encourages Team Work
1:32 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Syracuse University Launches 'Cuse Challenge Course

The Syracuse City and Onondaga County view from Skytop Hill. Even more panoramic for those who take the challenge.
Credit Jane Hong / WAER News

Up on one of the highest points in Syracuse that overlooks Onondaga County is a new challenge course, operated by Syracuse University’s Department of Recreation Services. W-A-E-R attended today’s opening event earlier this morning.  There were a few individuals already trying out the course when we arrived.

Listen to teams working along to get themselves through the 'Cuse Challenge.

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NATURE'S BOUNTY
6:50 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Local Farmers Promise Plentiful Fall Harvest

Regional Farmers Market
Credit John Smith / WAER

The fall harvest season has finally arrived, along with the Harvest Moon, and Central New Yorkers can look forward to a bountiful produce selection as cooler weather sets in.  

Farmers gathered at the Syracuse Regional Farmers’ Market on Thursday to sell fruits and vegetables with the familiar tastes of fall.  Wayne Haas, of Farmer Haas in Onondaga, worked for the Syracuse Fire Department for 30 years and decided to farm his land when he retired:

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Assisted Living Month
5:17 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

A Look Into Camillus Ridge Terrace During Assisted Living Month

Yesterday's Cafe at Camillus Ridge Terrace gives resident's a place to relax and socialize.

As you walk into the main lobby of Camillus Ridge Terrace, you’re immediately drawn to the view of a hallway with exterior facades of buildings. They have bright, pastel colored siding and windows.  A peek inside reveal’s a beauty and barber shop and an old-fashioned Ice Cream Parlor.  The neon lighting is reflected with a silver wall border.  It’s a home away from home atmosphere that Administrator Josh Santiago says they strive to create.  But the decision to live there or other facilities like it is not an easy one for residents or their families.

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